Friday, September 18, 2015

Flavour of Killorglin and Cookery Demo with Mark Doe...

Food Festivals are getting more and more popular in Ireland, each year you see something new in the events' calendar. Flavour of Killorglin isn't new, but it was the first time I was involved in it, both in organization and participation.
In the organizing committee I was responsible for general PR, marketing and I'm looking after the official Facebook page and website, but.... the real fun for me was during the festival itself ;) during Cookery Demos to be exact!


This year we've decided to jazz things up and pair a local Chef with a local "persona/celebrity" - how I've found myself among them, don't ask! ;)
We've had very talented Patricia Teahan, Head Chef from Carrig Country House cooking with Michael Healy-Rae, local TD. Second demo was run by brilliant Chef Mark Murphy from Dingle Cookery School, showing how to cook to Brendan Fuller from Radio Kerry. Third cookery demo was run by one and only Chef Mark Doe from Just Cooking cookery school and his "sous chef" for the day was no-one else but... me :D



To say I was a little bit nervous at the beginning is an understatement! Luckily I had a pleasure to have met Mark before, so that part of stress, of cooking with someone I don't know, was out of the way. Still, you're standing alongside a true PRO!
A Chef so passionate about what he's doing, so knowledgeable... you simply can't mess things and make a fool out of yourself!
Yes, it was a pressure. Other two guests had nothing to do with food or cooking in their daily lives, but me... a "food blogger", that was a different matter altogether. My reputation was at stake! ;)



Mark made me feel at ease and made me laugh almost immediately :) which helped a lot! But then, he quickly added that I'm not there just for the looks! ;) I'll be doing some bad ass cooking. Yeah!
My task for the day -> horseradish and sage hollandaise. What possibly can go wrong, aside from... eeee, everything! I can end up with a nice scrambled eggs, or it can split, or it can go wrong on so many more different levels (like burning myself with hot steam...!).



Thankfully, the hollandaise wasn't the "star of the dish". Beautiful veal rib eye steak was. OMG, can't recommend it enough! Such a brilliant product to work with, such a fantastic piece of meat - straight from Ballyhar Farm, here in Co. Kerry. So, we fired up and straight to our jobs!



After giving me some tips on how not to end up with nice scrambled eggs, it was time to finally start cooking. I really gave everything from myself - do you know how hard it actually is to keep whisking for good few minutes when so many people are watching you?! ;) Had to concentrate on the egg yolks, on not burning myself with the hot steam, and still ended up burning Mark's tea towel a bit - have you noticed that bit of charcoal on one of the ends Mark...? :P



Hollandaise done, time to cook the steak! Mark is a man after my own heart - only medium rare is a right way to cook such beauty! And did you know that to cook your steak well done, you should always finish it off in the oven, rather than on top of your stove? Hmm, I never knew that, but that's also because such knowledge was never useful to me ;)



Steak and hollandaise weren't the only parts of the dish. There was also a red onion tart tatin (never got a chance to try it on the day, guess I'll be making it soon myself!) and carrot and cumin puree - such a simple thing to cook and such a great accompaniment to many dishes, not only veal.



You can definitely see for yourself - Mark is in his element, happy, content and enjoying every minute of it, and that happiness is highly addictive! :D By that time I was completely at ease, really enjoying what I'm doing and somehow "in tune" with my new "boss".

Might be only my opinion but I think we worked well together, I'd say it all came down to shared, mutual passion and to when both of us are the happiest, doing what we love the most -> cooking! :)



Time to plate up. It comes so easily and natural to chefs to put the food nicely and pretty on the plate, not like myself - when I have to think for good few minutes where everything should go, so it won't look like a total mess.... :/ I guess dishes like Eaton Mess were created for people like me! ;)



Proud of job well done! Result of our labour of love :) Plates on the bench and we tried to make as many tasting portions as possible. Hope whoever attended enjoyed - both the cookery demo and the food!



Yes, we got to eat something ourselves too. At the end of the day it's every Chef's duty - to try what they've cooked and make sure it's... edible :P


What a day! What an experience! It was a pure pleasure cooking alongside such a pro and a gent like Mark Doe. I hope it wasn't the last time and I'll get a chance to do it again! 
If only he'll let me... ;)


All photos by fotocudnie.pl

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